Heavy Rain is awesome.
Created by the same folk as the equally moody Indigo Prophecy (aka Fahrenheit to the unedited world outside of North America), Heavy Rain is a deeply granular and immersive dramatic thriller surrounding the mystery of the Origami Killer; a serial murderer who uses bouts of exceedingly heavy rainfall to drown his victims. This game draws you in deep, with a story that plays out like a movie – but a movie in which your choices and your skill are in control, leading you seamlessly to one of 22 possible endings.
Twitter Friend @liloart says: It’s soooooo good! the music, loading screens, and the 22 different possible endings are some of my personal highlights.
You play four characters in the story:
Ethan Mars: A father who is trying to save his son from being the next victim
Madison Paige: Investigative journalist
Norman Jayden: FBI Profiler
Scott Shelby: A Private Detective hired to track down clues to the Origami Killers identity
The characters are well rounded people, each with their own difficult choices to make, but it’s the story and their place in it that will keep you coming back for more. Not to mention the story’s flow. It is dark and engaging and truly interactive main characters can die, man! And everything just rolls out as if it were all a part of the grand scheme of the story. The 22 different endings are, once again, completely dependent on the choices you make and how well you play the game – but you don’t need to play through every possible combination to get the full effect. It definitely makes for a bit of long term replayability, though, if you’re into it.
The controls for Heavy rain are, thankfully, much better than Indigo Prophecy. The predecessor of Heavy Rain was often so frustrating that you could lose sense of the story or will to play, but the folk at Quantic Dream made terrific use of the Playstation 3 control scheme. The game tells you what control combinations you need to enter in order to accomplish objectives from climbing, to fighting, to conversing, to using your asthma inhaler before you die (that’s what I meant by granular), but they don’t generally detract from the mood or flow of the story. In fact, even if you fail at something or pick the wrong conversation element by accident, the story branches off so seamlessly into new direction that you may think it was supposed to happen that way.
It should be noted though, for the more impatient gamers out there, that while the granular nature of the character control is pretty cool, there are times when you would probably rather that the game would just move on (as opposed to making you do special combinations just to walk up a flight of stairs or something).